Creating a Winter Wedding Land: Our Favourite Christmas Wedding Theme Ideas

Winter is such a romantic time of year; filled with snug evenings, hot drinks and a hint of magic in the air. Why not combine the cosiness of winter with the excitement of a wedding?

With mince pies, mulled wine and mistletoe adorning your venue, a Christmas themed wedding is sure to warm everyone’s hearts during the cold winter months. So if you like the sound of this winter wedding land, we have rounded up the magical ideas to get you started on the road to a very merry Christmas celebration!

 

Carry a bouquet of festive flowers

Inject some Christmas magic into your bridal bouquet, incorporate those warm festive colours of greens and reds and set if off with some sparkling white roses or lilies. If you want to go a little rustic, add a few pine cones and red berries.

Christmas wedding

Don’t be shy with your bridal bling

It’s Christmastime, and therefore it is the best excuse to bring out the bling. From a glittering tiara to delicately sparkling necklaces and bracelets. Don’t be shy! 

Warm-up inside with some yummy mulled beverages 

There is no better way to stay warm and cosy than with a mulled drink full of those festive spices and rich flavours. Mulled wine is the most popular of the warm alcoholic drinks – and for good reason, nothing beats the deep flavours of warm red wine with citrus fruits and spices – but mulled cider and even mulled gin are becoming more and more popular and are a great way to mix things up!

Christmas wedding

Why not ride in style in a horse and carriage

It may not be a reindeer sleigh, but it’s as close as you will get in the UK. And anyway, what can beat the elegance of arriving by horse and carriage? Just don’t forget to bring blankets and shawls – it can get a little chilly up there!

Draw your guests eyes to a full-sized Christmas tree

No Christmas wedding would be complete without this festive centrepiece. Maybe your venue already has natural pine trees outside which you can glam up by covering one or two in lights and baubles matching your colour scheme. Or, bring your own Christmas tree into the venue and decorate it there. 

Wrap up warm in fluffy shawls 

Keep your bridal party warm during your winter wedding with faux fur shawls or cashmere scarves to wrap up in during the outdoor wedding photographs. If you have a white dress, why not bring a splash of colour to the bleak outdoors and pair your dress with a deep red scarf or shawl.  

Bring the Christmas cheer with some crackers

Break the ice and encourage guests to get to know one another by sharing a cheesy joke or two by placing crackers on every table. It will really bring the Christmas cheer to your wedding day. 

Christmas wedding

Serve up some irresistible festive snacks 

Everyone loves the overindulgence of festive food, so why not bring that and spoil your friends and family with some Christmassy snacks? From mince pies to roasted chestnuts, brie and cranberry bites, gingerbread men, oranges and even those cute little chocolate coins.

Sparkle up your guests with a glitter station

So we know we’ve mentioned bling for yourself – but what about your guests? Set up a glitter station at your night-time disco with face glue, glitter pots and metallic transfer tattoos and let your friends and family get creative. If you have kids at your wedding, they will absolutely love this, but you’ll be surprised at how giddy the adults at your do will get over a bit of sparkle!

Embrace the chilly weather for some festive photos

It’s true, wedding pictures outside in the sunshine are pretty nice – but have you seen how gorgeous winter backdrops look? Capture something a bit different during your wedding day, either in the low winter sun (which creates the most magnificent sunsets) or even in the pouring rain where your photographer can use lighting and umbrellas to create something of a masterpiece. Just chat to your photographer ahead of your big day and make sure you have a woolly blanket on hand during the shoot. 

Christmas wedding

Shock your guests by wearing red

If you’ve been searching through winter wedding dresses and are yet to feel inspired by all those traditional white gowns, why not shock everyone and go for a red wedding dress? A rich red gown will look amazing at a Christmas wedding, particularly if it is frosty, or it snows! 

Light up the dark evening candles and fairy lights

Winter nights are made even more magical with candlelight. Cover the tables at your venue in gold-toned candle holders and line the aisle with them for a truly enchanting feel. If you’re worried about kids with open flames, why not weave sparkling lights in flower arrangements and place them along the aisle instead? Later these decorations will look perfect on the table, or on the bar during the disco.

Arrange a firework display and go out with a bang

End the night with a bang! You could liaise with a fireworks company to arrange a firework display on the grounds of your venue (check first!) and celebrate your love with a performance of lights for everyone to see. 

 

We hope these winter wonderland wedding ideas inspire you, if you have any other ideas, let us know on Facebook or Instagram. We hope all our readers are having a very Merry Christmas and wishing you all a Happy New Year!

If you’re looking for some more inspiration, come along to one of our fab spring fayres which you can find here.

6 Essential Honeymoon Planning Tips

After all the hard work of planning your big day – your honeymoon is a much-needed respite. For many couples, it’s also the trip of a lifetime.

It’s most likely longer, more exotic, and more expensive than any of your previous holidays, so it deserves some special attention. Here’s our 6 essential honeymoon planning tips that will make your trip unforgettable.

 

 1. Start Early to Get the Best Prices

First of all, set yourself a honeymoon budget and be strict on yourself to not let your wedding ceremony cut into it. A wedding ceremony is usually only around 6 hours, whilst a honeymoon lasts approximately 10 to 14 days, so it’s something worth spending a bit more money on.

Once you have a budget in mind, you should book your honeymoon early to get the best price. Although people talk about “last minute deals”, we would recommend booking your honeymoon 6 to 8 months in advance as waiting until last minute is very risky business and you may miss out on premium rooms as these tend to book up early.

You should also include travel insurance into your budget, although it’s not too expensive, people often forget to take it out and it could save you thousands of pounds if something was to go wrong.

Honeymoon Planning Tips

 

  1. Plan Your Trip Together

This will probably be one of the biggest trips you have together; therefore, you should tailor it to you and your fiancé. The best way to do that is to plan your honeymoon together.

Even though it may be tempting to take the reins and plan everything yourself, this is a lot of pressure and responsibility for such an important trip, and your own wishes may get in the way of a perfect trip that works for both of you.

Plus, ideas are better bounced off one another! Discuss with your fiancé exactly what is most important for you to experience whilst you are on your honeymoon; do you want relaxation, luxury, adventure or romance? This is where communication is key.

Honeymoon Planning Tips

 

  1. Be Specific About What You Want

Once you have discussed what you both want together, you then have to get specific. The best 6 questions to ask yourself, according to Lilian Miller from LT Travel Connection are:

  •     What is my budget?
  •     How many days do I have available for the honeymoon?
  •     Would I prefer to see many destinations, or spend more time enjoying one?
  •     What are my interests?
  •     What weather would I like?
  •     Will it be peak season and what is going on with the country?

Whilst Connie Riker, from Create the Moment Travel, adds a couple more crucial questions:

  •     When you close your eyes and imagine yourself in the middle of your trip, do you see a lot of activity around you or is it quieter?
  •     Do you see yourself spending most of your time on the beach, by the pool, or in your honeymoon suite?

 

These questions will help you come up with a more refined idea of what you would like to get out of your honeymoon.  

Honeymoon Planning Tips

 

  1. Don’t Just Rely on The Internet

Your starting point for planning the honeymoon is likely Google, which is perfectly fine, but you shouldn’t rely solely on the internet. Other people’s experiences written on reviews online can often create an image of somewhere that doesn’t match reality, so it’s best to thoroughly investigate your shortlist of destinations by talking to your friends and family who have been to there already.

Or, better yet, talk to a travel agent. A good travel agent will not sell a destination unless they, or one of their colleagues, have been there themselves. Plus, they can often boost your honeymoon experience with their knowledge and position in the travel industry.

Honeymoon Planning Tips

 

  1. Consider More Unusual Destinations

The most popular honeymoon destinations are tempting to go for, such as Bali and the Caribbean. These places are known to be beautiful and are undoubtedly good for a honeymoon, but they are also bustling with tourists all-year-round.

Because of this reason, as well as for keeping costs low, we recommend that you consider more unusual destinations and find your own hidden gem. Countries such as Panama, Nicaragua, India and even Slovenia or Montenegro are emerging destinations that are hitting all the right spots for honeymooners.

If you wish to go to more the popular destinations and your budget isn’t too large, you can look for alternatives within that country, such as in Mexico, check out Manzanillo, Huatulco or Merida rather than the ever-popular Cancun. Or, if you like a popular area, look into villas or hotels with a garden view rather than a sea-view to widen your options within your budget.

 

  1. Let Your Hotel Know If You Have Any Special Requests

For many couples, holidays abroad and time spent travelling is becoming the norm, so you should do little extras to make your honeymoon feel like, well… a honeymoon.

First things first, you should let your hotel know that you are on your honeymoon, they may offer perks for a newly wedded couple, such as a free room upgrade, breakfast in bed or even a complimentary couple’s massage.

But you should also let your hotel know if you have any special requests, for example, maybe you would like your favourite Italian wine to be waiting for you in your room when you arrive, or you might like to ask if you could have a private dinner on the beach one night, or possibly a rose petal bath to prepared for you. Just make sure to contact your hotel in advance so the staff have time to process and prepare your special requests.

 

If you’re looking to get some more inspiration, pop along to one of our wedding fayres and speak to an experienced travel agent. They’ll be sure to offer tips and advice that you may not have thought of yet! Find all of our upcoming fayres here.

You can also contact our travel suppliers here.

Guest Blog by Guy Porteous: Live Music for your Civil Ceremony

Have you ever thought about live music for your civil ceremony?

Your wedding is one of the most important days of your life. Understandably you want everything to run smoothly – who wouldn’t? A crucial aspect of this is choosing the music for your special day. This is where I can help to take this worry away for you… 

The ceremony

Arguably the main part of your wedding, because without it there simply wouldn’t be a wedding! Music plays a key role in the ceremony…imagine walking down the aisle without music…or walking out with your husband or wife to silence?

I can offer you years of experience, choices of music and advice to help you make the perfect choices for your big day. 

Modern technology is a wonderful thing, but do you really want to rely on it for such a special day? Ipads or phones loosing charge, not working properly or even being lost in transit to the venue, resulting in you having no music for such a special occasion is something that no one should have to go through. 

Not only this, but recorded music just doesn’t have the same effect as live music. The way a professional, such as myself, can time the music to fit seamlessly with the different stages of the ceremony, such as the bride’s arrival, means it can be adapted and adjusted for any unexpected situations at the last minute. 

Maybe your flower girls or page boys walk slower down the aisle before you? No matter how many practice attempts you have, you can guarantee that it will be different on the day, and a professional musician can adapt to those situations for you. Quite often, changing and adapting so seamlessly that you don’t even realise that it has happened – let alone your guests! 

Live music on the day takes all that stress away…

I can offer you a very personal service, ensuring you have the exact music you’d like. This can also be edited live to suit the occasion and timings. 

A personal service gives you unlimited calls to discuss options, music suggestions for your arrival, signing the register and exit music from your civil ceremony.

There are always last minute tweaks to be made, things that are thought of in the middle of the night that you need peace of mind on the morning after and solutions to problems from an experienced professional. All of this takes away a large amount of the stress in the run up to your wedding day – leaving you able to enjoy your day with your loved one. 

Each wedding ceremony is unique, so the service I provide is designed to match that. However, to give you an idea…I play for approximately 20 minutes prior your official arrival time and if you should be late will carry on and fill that gap and entertain your guests (so no need to panic if those final touches are taking longer than anticipated!)…I will play a lovely selection of romantic ballads for your guests to listen to and set the scene.

I will then play you down the aisle with your music choice, during the signing of the register, while the photographs are taken and play while you walk out of the church hand in hand as a married couple.

You will need to select approximately three or four songs for this last part of the day – all of which we will discuss in detail before the occasion. 

I can offer electric piano, keyboard or our amazing white grand piano (at a small extra cost). 

If you are wanting this relaxed, well planned, romantic theme to continue throughout the wedding, I also offer music for your drinks reception and/or wedding breakfast.

I can be very flexible in these arrangements to suit your special day and can offer outdoor, live music for your drinks reception – a fantastic touch to improve your already wonderful day – should the weather allow.  

With 35 years experience and having played at over 1,000 weddings, I’ve developed a vast repertoire of music. From timeless classics, to ballads and pop – you can be sure there will be something to suit everyone! 

Please feel free to get in touch, to discuss your very special day further.

A 15% discount being offered for Jan, Feb, March April weddings 2020…This does not include Easter weekend. A 50 mile radius from Bolton applies to this offer. 

For further details please Contact:

Guy Porteous The Cheshire Pianist. 

www.guyporteous.co.uk

Facebook Guy Porteous The Cheshire pianist 

07966196572.

10 of the Most Romantic Places to Propose in the North West

Thinking of popping the question this Christmas? Congratulations!!

Getting engaged is one of the most memorable milestones of your life. Many of us dream of that special moment so choosing the perfect place isn’t always easy.

Luckily, for those of you that live here, the North West of England is teeming with beautiful places to pop the question.

To provide a little inspiration, we’ve put together a list of 10 of the most romantic places in the North West that would be wonderful backdrops to ask for your partner’s hand in marriage…

 

1. Albert Square in Manchester 

If you’re looking for a bit of an audience for when you propose, or you fancy yourself a showman – you should head to Albert Square in Manchester. It boasts some of the city’s most iconic monuments and it is always bustling with locals and tourists who will be sure to give you a few cheers as they pass by. Plus, this time of year it’s aglow with fairy lights and festive spirit as it’s Christmas Market Season!

Propose in Albert Square Manchester

2. Underneath a shower of the petals in Liverpool

Are you and your partner party animals? If so, the petal shower at Alma de Cuba in Liverpool would be a fitting way for you to pop the question. This spectacular display of petals, exotic music and samba dancers takes place at 11 pm every Friday and Saturday in the formerly Grade II listed St Peter’s Roman Catholic Church, which has been turned into Liverpool’s biggest Latin American inspired bar. 

Romantic Petal shower at Alma de Cuba, Liverpool

 

3. Within the magical woods of Alderley Edge in Cheshire

If you’re looking for a tranquil proposal spot where magic is in the air, then the woods of Alderley Edge would be the place for you to drop down on one knee. These woods have a rich culture of legends involving magic and wizards.

Take your partner for a stroll through the old oak trees, following the path of King Arthur and his men, and find a stone circle or a peaceful clearing where you can ask the big question. Afterwards, you can head into the town for a glass of bubbly to celebrate, which is home to some of Cheshire’s most stylish restaurants and bars.

 

4. On top of Cloud 23, The Hilton Deansgate in Manchester

For a wedding proposal with some glitz and glamour, you should ascend up to the 23rd floor of the Beetham Tower where Cloud 23 awaits. Here, you can treat your partner to a decadent afternoon tea, sip on some of the finest champagne and enjoy panoramic views of Manchester. What better place is there to announce your love than on top of the entire city? 

The Hilton Deansgate Manchester

 

5. Walking down Crosby beach in Liverpool

If you love the British seaside and wish for a more laid-back proposal scene, then Crosby beach in Liverpool has that to offer. After a romantic stroll along the beach at sunset, you can pull your partner aside, declare your love and then ask them to marry you…

You’ll have a silent audience too in Anthony Gormley’s iconic iron men…

Propose on Crosby beach Liverpool

 

6. Upon the tower of Chester Cathedral in Chester 

Why not whisk your partner up to the top of Chester Cathedral’s highest tower and ask the big question there? At the Cathedral, you can both journey through centuries of history in the largest gothic cathedral in England and climb to the top of the tower to get the best views over Chester and North Wales.

Romantic Proposal in Chester

 

7. During a private screening at the King Street Townhouse in Manchester

If you wish to go down the hotel route, we would recommend King Street Townhouse in Manchester as it offers modern rooms, fantastic views, a heated infinity pool on the rooftop and a spa. But our favourite feature is the 20 seater screening room called The Cellars which can be hired out privately. You could ask them to play his/her favourite film and catch them off guard with a ring in a bucket of popcorn! 

 

8. Next to Lake Windermere in Cumbria 

If you’re into the outdoors and want a backdrop of natural beauty, Lake Windermere is the perfect spot. Nestled between the breathtaking Cumbrian hills, the largest natural lake in England is a sight to behold.

On the banks of the lake, you’ll find the quintessentially English town of Bowness-on-Windermere. Once home to the beloved writer Beatrix Potter, the town has a romantic charm with eateries and cafes aplenty.

 

9. Within the folds of John Rylands Library in Manchester

John Rylands Library is a beautiful place to propose in Manchester if your partner is either a bit of a bookworm or loves grand old buildings. Not only does it host an amazing collection of books, but it’s probably one of the most beautiful libraries on the planet.

The building is over a century old and looks like it belongs in the Harry Potter films because of its cathedral-like elegance. Plus, it has its own romantic love story behind it as Enriqueta Rylands built the library in memory of her late husband, John Rylands.  

Manchester Proposal

 

10.  On the waterfront in Liverpool

Liverpool’s iconic waterfront is a romantic spot in the North West of England. With the amazing skyline across the Mersey and the magnificent architecture, a proposal at the Pier Head as the sun sets and all the lights turn on would be a truly unforgettable experience.

Propose on Liverpool waterfront

Share your own proposal stories with our team at Country Brides, or let us know if you have been inspired by any of our ideas, by contacting us through Facebook

If you do pop the question this Christmas, be sure to bring your partner along to one of our many North West Wedding Fayres next year. Get your tickets here.